It is confirmed that attacks in the Oromo region of Ethiopia were based on ethnicity and religion, constituting crimes against Humanity.
January 1, 2021
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on Friday released an investigation report on the massacre in Oromo region of Ethiopia following the assassination of musician Hachalu Hundessa in June 2020.
The statement released on Friday said that “The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found that crimes against humanity was committed by individuals and groups who directly participated in the violence and security crisis that swept through Oromia Region following the death of musician Hachalu Hundessa on June 29th, 2020.” It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government linked the assassination and ensuing massacre in the region with Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and unspecified foreign powers.
The EHRC finding highlighted that 123 people were killed, over 500 wounded and thousands displaced in connection with the attack. EHRC also has verified that the attack was committed based on ethnicity and religion during the “widespread and systematic attack in different areas over the three days.”
EHRC established that security forces were deployed to reverse the attack but said that the “proportionality of the force employed in some contexts is highly questionable.”
Furthermore, EHRC said that it had visited over 40 localities where there was human rights abuses in the Oromia region as part of the investigation.
Attackers were moving in groups from place to place to kill and injure civilians with axes, knives, sticks and other weapons, according to the report.
Director of EHRC, Daniel Bekele, calls for a government action that addresses the root causes of the atrocity.
“Given the repeated pattern of atrocity crimes in the country, Ethiopia needs to design and implement a comprehensive national strategy for the prevention of atrocity crimes which aims to address the root causes of the problem,” he is cited as saying.
Executive Summary and Recommendations from EHRC is available HERE.
It was reported in July 2020 that Oromo regional state under the leadership of Shimeles Abdissa admitted that some security officials and mayors, in some cases, took part in the attack indirectly, and were removed from their position.
The regional state is yet to respond to the 59 pages of report from EHRC.
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